Colorless Green Homunculi

Human Nature Review 2 (2002) 454-462

9 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2013

Date Written: June 1, 2002


Robert Aunger wrote the The Electric Meme: A New Theory of How We Think as a first draft of a neural accounts of memes, units of cultural evolution comparable to the biological gene. It is best viewed as two books. One book is comprised of the first six chapters, which are preparatory in nature, reviewing the current state of memetics, alternative analyses of human cultural evolution, types of replicator (DNA, prions, computer viruses), and the physical nature of information. This book is competent, interesting, and thought provoking.

The second book sets forth Aunger’s new theory of neuromemetics and is a failure. Aunger’s ideas are vague, incoherent, and contradictory. Because the long seventh chapter contains Aunger’s central statement, I concentrate on it in this essay-review.

Keywords: memes, cultural evolution, brain, cognition, psychology, evolution

Suggested Citation

Benzon, William L., Colorless Green Homunculi (June 1, 2002). Human Nature Review 2 (2002) 454-462, Available at SSRN:

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